Research Programs : Demonstration Projects

Early Discovery Service Partnership

The overall goal of the Service Partnership developed by the YCSND Council is to ensure that young children, ages birth to five, in need of services, who do not meet eligibility requirements, are able to receive appropriate interventions. Children identified will be referred to the Care Coordinator who will assist and support families in identifying and determining needed services such as small group language and behavioral interventions, interim therapeutic interventions, follow-up assessments, staff development, and family education in collaboration with community providers. These services will be provided in the natural environment, either at home or in inclusive child care centers.

Collaborative partners include Early Steps (North and South), Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) Pre-kindergarten Program for Children with Disabilities, the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System South (FDLRS-S) and two participating child care centers. Additional collaborative partners who are members of the YCSNDC who will be involved with the planning phase include Children’s Medical Services, Head Start/Early Head Start, Healthy Start Coalition, the Early Learning Coalition Natural Environment Educational Development Program (NEED), Family Central, Parent to Parent of Miami, South Miami Hospital Child Development Center, United Cerebral Palsy, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Miami.

A community benefit of the Service Partnership will be to avoid the costly and intensive trajectory of future exceptional student education for these identified children. Outcomes of the pilot project will include services for 20 children identified by Early Steps as needing services but not meeting eligibility requirements, and screening for 200 children attending two child care centers, and provision of services to an additional 20 children who would not have formerly qualified for services.